Journal of Institute of Medicine

The prize and the price of good nutrition


The global burden of disease is shifting rapidly. While in 1990, the top-ranked contributor to the global burden was child underweight, twenty years later we find that cancers and circulatory diseases contribute the most-- accounting for 19% of global disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), with about a third of the total deriving from other non- communicable diseases (NCDs), including chronic respiratory, digestive, neurological, mental, endocrine, and other disorders1. By 2010, child underweight had dropped to 8th place in the ranking of contributors to the overall disease burden.